and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Here is Jesus in John 11:26 affirming – no, triple-locking – the way of life. Living believers do not need to hear from anyone what else they need to be assured of life, to have anxiety reduced or removed. If you have been paying attention to Christian movements and the distinctions of the various groups you will know that every sect invents something that it hope’s will confirm that group’s views. Every group makes that mistake of adding something to what Christ commands.
Two factors are in the mix.
[ ] People who are LIVING
[ ] People who are BELIEVING
One of the truly silly and useless ideas are that people need, in addition to being alive and believing, a growing list of things, including the following:
- Abraham’s ruthless faith
- Solomon’s wisdom
- Moses’ law
- Adam’s diet
- Aaron’s DNA
- David’s passion
There is nothing but a black hole if we can picture someone dying “for ever”. Even more difficult is to try to see what someone NOT dying forever looks like. The freedom from dying is FINAL not absolute. We all have an appointment with death whether or not we cross from (the sentence and) the penalty and the life of those dead in trespasses and sins.
What do I mean by triple-locking? First lock: Jesus’s statement of the fact is without controversy. The second lock is the use of the double negative (ou me, ου μη) with “shall die”. The third lock is the use of the phrase unto the age, forever. This phrase is like our term “period ” or “fullstop”. It cannot mean that there are people who die when the age (or eternity) arrives.
How do you love?
John 3:16 does not talk about how much God loved the world or the “whoever”. It tells us how God loves the world. All the evangelists who fail to tell us who are the people God loves more than others should apologize for following the trend that says God is partial and imperfect love. He loves those who keep his commandments but what he does for those who don’t is the scandal of the ages. Love in small scales down packages is devilish stuff.